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Banks want to cap free ATM transactions

Banks may now charge their customers for using ATMs for transactions beyond a stipulated number of transactions. The customers may be allowed a maximu of five ATM transactions a month, including their own banks. This is to meet the increased costs the banks may incur for providing additional security at ATMs as mandated by some state governments. Currently, there is no cap on the number of transactions that a customer can undertake at his own bank’s ATM. Banks have asked RBI to allow them to increase the ATM interchange fees to Rs 18 from Rs 15 a transaction now. They have also sought permission to pass on the costs arising from the interchange fee and switching fee to customers from the sixth transaction onwards. The number of free transactions at other banks’ ATMs has been capped at five a month. Banks are also propoosing to close down ATMs at night at locations where the footfalls are low. M.V. Tanksale, chief executive, Indian Banks’ Association, said the charges were calculated by striking a balance between incentivising banks to set up ATMs and issue debit cards and to bring in discipline among customers.

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